Tucked away in a corner of Killbear Provincial Park is a special place: the Twin Points Trail.
With windswept pine trees, craggy rocks and an abundance of wildlife, this is the perfect place to fully absorb the beauty of Georgian Bay.
This natural gem has captured the hearts of many, including one special nature lover: Teresa Daw.
He made a lasting contribution to helping more people access the trail than ever before.
Why Twin Points Trail is special
Twin Points Trail showcases the majesty of Georgian Bay.
That is why it was identified as one of the Mnidoo Gamii of the Georgian Bay Biosphere. Incredible places.
From the parking lot, the trail passes through a forest of red maple, white pine, red oak, and yellow and white birch.
You may see warblers, vireos or flycatchers fluttering around you.
Male yellow warblers are egg yolk yellow with distinctive reddish stripes on the chest.
Leaving the forest the trail opens onto rocky fells favored by Brown Thrasher and Eastern Towhee.
The trail continues to a beach hidden between rocky points overlooking the Killbear Peninsula.
As you approach Georgian Bay you feel the wind and hear the waves. Along the coast you can see water birds such as seagulls, terns and sandpipers.
Caspian Terns can be seen fishing in shallow waters
This magical place has captivated many visitors over the years and made them return again and again.
And Teresa’s dream was to share this special place with everyone.
For more than 30 years, Teresa Daw worked to promote the rights of people with disabilities, improve their quality of life and help them escape poverty.
Teresa loved nature, particularly the Canadian Shield.
When he prepared his will, he included a gift to Ontario Parks with the wish that it would be used to reduce barriers so more people could experience nature.
Teresa’s donation is helping Ontario Parks and Friends of Killbear build a barrier-free viewing platform and make other accessibility improvements to the Twin Points Trail in Killbear Provincial Park.
A team effort in the community.
Community Living Parry Sound helped with the design process.
Accessibility consultant Rebecca Jones, a frequent visitor to the park and member of the Parry Sound Accessibility Committee, says: “Inclusion is important in all communities. Without accessibility, people don’t feel like they belong.”
Rebecca reviewed the plans for the trail and viewing platform. Her recommendations to improve access to the platform and enhance viewing opportunities have been incorporated into the final design.
A barrier-free viewing platform on a rocky point will ensure the sights and sounds of Georgian Bay are accessible to all. Once the observation deck is completed, a new boardwalk will be installed, constructed of composite material and wide enough to allow wheelchairs to pass through.
Speaking about her passion for helping, Rebecca said, “Being at Killbear allows me to meet more people and gives me the opportunity to work harder to include everyone. Accessible design is important for everyone. “It’s not just people in wheelchairs who benefit.”
Garry Allen has been camping in the park for 61 years. His children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have explored Killbear. Volunteer director of Friends of Killbear, he is a strong advocate for providing opportunities for people with mobility issues to venture beyond their campground.
The Friends of Killbear share Teresa’s love of nature and, as an organization, are dedicated to enriching the outdoor experiences of campers and park visitors.
Kevin Barks, President of The Friends of Killbear, says: “By giving all visitors equal access to this unique part of Georgian Bay, we are enriching its memories for generations to come… What a beautiful gift.”
“The wider boardwalk and ramp to the viewing platform will make the trail accessible to all and, by providing a safe environment for visitors, will also help preserve the fragile ecosystem that supports a number of at-risk species” .
In addition to raising funds to make the Twin Points Trail more accessible, the Friends purchased an all-terrain wheelchair and a new Beach Mobi-Chair that park visitors can use in the water.
Additionally, three access mats were purchased for different locations along Killbear’s beaches.
Ontario Parks and Friends of Killbear staff recently held two days of meetings with contractors to discuss construction costs and move forward with this project in the near future.
We need your help
More than $80,000 has been raised for the Twin Points Barrier-Free Trail and Observation Deck, but more is needed.
With your help, we can create a safe environment for people of all abilities to access the beauty of Killbear. Online donations can be made here.
Teresa Daw believed that everyone belongs outside, and with the power of her will, she decided to help people with disabilities connect with the revitalizing benefits of nature.
What will you do through the power in your Will?
To speak to someone about including a donation to Ontario Provincial Parks in your will, please call (705) 313-2462, email [email protected] or visit our website.